A blueprint for beating Ball State is becoming clear: if the Cardinals are pressured, they'll turn the ball over.
Miami (6-9, 2-2) did just that, causing Ball State (3-12, 0-4) to turn the ball over 22 times and cruised to a 64-52 win Saturday at Worthen Arena.
The RedHawks took control from the tip, jumping out to a 21-7 lead midway through the first half from a 13-0 run. From there, the Cardinals wouldn't come close to threatening.
Using a full court trap, and a mixture of zone and man defense, Miami stole the ball 13 times from Ball State. The RedHawks also shot much better from the floor 27-52 (.519) than the Cardinals 13-39 (.333), though the Cardinals did win the rebounding battle 31-24.
Fortunately for the Cardinals, Zavier Turner continued to impress. He tallied a career-high 24 points to strengthen his campaign as a favorite for MAC Freshman of the Year. The only other Cardinal to finish in double figures was Chris Bond with 14.
Miami will return home to host Central Michigan Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Ball State will face Buffalo in Muncie at 8 p.m.